During the dry season from July to December, there is a huge drop in the nutritional value of natural pastures. Animals need more time and spend more energy to satisfy their nutritional needs. Most ewes struggle to raise twins which are common during this time of year. Fortunately, animals that are kraaled every night allow the owner to assist his animals daily.
The following feeding guidelines will contribute to better production:
1. Treatment of Ewes which also contribute to better growth of Kids and Lambs
Start supplementing ewes within the last 3 weeks before lambing!
Ewes with twins and triplets need the best supplementary feeding to assist in raising their kids successfully. Rumen Optimizer pellets have a very high nutritional value, are fully balanced and supply all the necessary nutrients for good milk production. It also improves fertility and can be used for flushing (prikkelvoer) after lambs have been weaned.
These pellets, unlike maize, improves the quality of the colostrum (bies) which is smooth and not sticky. This makes it easy for weaker lambs to drink it. Enough good quality colostrum contributes to better immunity and fewer mortalities. Start at least 3 weeks before the beginning of the lambing season with the supplementation to late pregnant ewes for improvement of colostrums’ quality and better milk production.
Provide 150–300g pellets per ewe in the evening until most of the lambs are 3months of age.
2. Lambs that are kept on kraal for the first 6–8 weeks (Lammers word afgehok)
For lambs and kids to grow to their full potential, enough milk and good supplementary feed are very important. Proper feeding along with good colostrum (biesmelk) and milk production during the first 8 weeks contributes to healthy, fast-growing lambs, fewer mortalities and even to higher fertility of these ewe lambs in future. Lambs and kids only start eating roughages from 3 weeks of age and then only feed off very good quality give the best results. Lambs younger than 2 months of age do not utilize lucerne effectively.
Between 50–200g Rumen Optimizer Pellets or Creep Feed pellets per lamb per day from the age of 3 weeks until the age of 3 months, will contribute to better growth and development. This pellet matches the high nutritional requirements of lambs and kids and causes a smooth, shiny coat and kids that are sooner ready for marketing. (Feedmaster RamLambEwe pellets can also be used for young lambs)
3. Treatment of Rams for Higher Fertilit
Rams that permanently stay between the ewes for mating, must also get 250g Rumen Optimizer Pellets once a day. Before and during the mating season rams can be fed up to 500g Rumen Optimizer Pellets per animal per day. The right treatment of arms regarding health and feeding 8 weeks before the mating season has a positive effect on their fertility. Good feeding contributes to better semen quality and higher pregnancy rates.
(If rams have to be kept on kraal for some time, use Breker 12 pellets plus lucerne)